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Diligent SPIRITUAL LIFE | 31 Days of Women from Scripture Vol. 2

A Legacy of Service: Lessons from Dorcas

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Lessons from Dorcas

31 Days of Women from Scripture

Volume 2

Day 20

Join us for the sequel to last year's popular study about women from Scripture. Learn more about the women God gave us as examples.

A Legacy of Service

Day Twenty: Lessons from Dorcas

Acts 9:36-43

“do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4

“You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.” John 13:13-16

“…through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13

The image of Jesus’ washing the apostles’ feet is an impressive one. It was meant to be (Jn. 13:12,15). The understanding that everyone is subordinate to someone else is crucial to how we serve God. Even Jesus was under someone’s authority because even as God, He was here to fulfill the will of His Father Who sent Him (Jn. 5:30).

In these lessons, I have talked about equality several times. In the Lord, there is no difference whether you are a man or a woman – all will answer for their actions measured against the Word before God.

This world (Satan) asserts pressure on us by encouraging us to compare ourselves to others. Social Media was first designed so that all of us non-famous people could keep up with those who are famous. Then it is meant for us to keep up with one another. Which can be a good thing. It can also be a bad thing. Our real lives are not always lived out on social media. So, comparing ourselves to someone else’s seemingly constant run of good or bad days is very dangerous.

Paul said, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor.11:1). There is One to whom we should compare ourselves, only One.

In Acts 10:36-42 we learn about a woman who made a difference to the world around her. Her example can be compared to that of our Lord Jesus.

In the city of Joppa, a woman named Tabitha (Dorcas) was known for “abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did” (Acts 9:36).

This woman became ill and died. Her death upset her friends. When they heard that Peter was nearby in Lydda, they sent and asked that he come to them quickly.

Peter came and found the widows mourning the loss of Dorcas. They were showing “all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them.”

Peter sends everyone out of the room, he prays to God and then tells Tabitha to get up. She wakes up and walks out of the room with Peter to where her friends are waiting.

The event became known all over the city of Joppa and many people believed in the Lord.

One little woman.

We do not know if she was married.

The example she left showed a constant desire to serve others.

She didn’t just give to charity every now and then. Her deeds were “abounding” and it was something she did “continually”.

Dorcas was obviously a talented woman. Either being a seamstress was what she did for a living or she made garments as part of her acts of charity. Either way, she used the skills she had to fill the needs of others. How very like the woman in Proverbs 31!

God used the opportunity of her death to encourage those who loved her (they did get more time with her) and bring others to Christ through the miracle that proved the Word to be true.

If Dorcas had not been who she was, would Joppa have heard the gospel the way they did? I don’t know. But I do know that God’s Word was spread because this woman lived to serve.

Put that into the context of the world we live in today. The Social Media comparison trap can often keep us from serving others.

We look at others and think they do more – so we don’t need to as much.

We look at others and think they are so evil that good deeds would be lost on them.

We look at others and think “why aren’t they doing that for me?”.

We look at the moms who seem to be doing it all and get depressed because we cannot keep up.


Paul said we can imitate him in whatever way he imitates Christ.

Dorcas imitated Christ by serving her fellow man continually.

Stop looking at others around you and look at the examples God has given to you.

The world is full of people who are getting things mixed up and upside down. While social media can have some good uses – we must not forget that it carried more danger than good. We must be on the alert.

Once you have an example like Dorcas emblazoned on your mind – go back to social media and start to find those who are imitating her in the way she imitated Christ.

Start imitating Dorcas yourself! What can you do for someone else today?

Wives, your men need you to serve them. They need you to make their world brighter and safer when they leave the ugly world outside the door.

Moms, your children need you to serve them in a way that is in their best interest. Spend your day showing them God’s creation, expressing how precious they are to you and to Him. Take them with you to the neighbor’s house and offer to water the flowerbeds or make a run to the grocery store.

Single women – as Paul noted in 1 Corinthians 7 – you are freer than rest of us! You can follow Dorcas’ example right now! What are your skills?

Are there people who live near you who never see their own children or grandchildren? Can you help to fill their need of love and attention?

Where can you spend some of your time?

For any of us, when we are cooking dinner – who can we share some of it with? Instead of throwing out the leftovers is there someone else who might need just that small amount?

Every day there will be someone you can help, in some way. If you don’t know who – begin to pray. Pray for those you don’t yet know. Ask for opportunities to come your way. Pray for courage to step out when the chance arrives.

Every single one of us has the chance to leave a legacy of service like Dorcas did. Like Paul did. Like Jesus did.  How will you serve others today?


Click here to get a complimentary lesson from our “31 Days of Women from Scripture Volume 2”, “Reach Out. Lessons from the Woman with an issue of blood”.

If you would like to follow the rest of the #write31days challenge series click here – 31 Days of Women from Scripture Volume 2

If you are interested in the first 31 Days of Women series – click here – 31 Days of Women from Scripture

Have you ever thought about Samson's mother? Join us as we see how she is an example to us to be prepared for anything.

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